President Bush??¢â???¬â???¢s selection of Environmental Protection Agency head Mike Leavitt as secretary of Health and Human Services failed to generate much enthusiasm among conservatives who had hoped the department would take a new direction with retiring Secretary Tommy Thompson out of the picture. Deputy Secretary Claude Allen would have appeased social conservatives skeptical of Leavitt??¢â???¬â???¢s record in that area.
??¢â???¬?????The best predictor of future positions on controversial issues is the record of past decisions,??¢â???¬ said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. As a governor, Leavitt rejected Utah??¢â???¬â???¢s court appeal over the state??¢â???¬â???¢s anti-abortion law and also shifted federal money for abstinence education to other programs.